“This is a record breaker,” said Doug Slingerland, Creative Services director for the Bainbridge Island Metro Park & Recreation District, remarking about the attendance for its last summer concert at Battle Point Park Aug. 30.
The crowd filled the amphitheater and overflowed onto the grassy areas around the observatory. Staff thinks more than 2,000 people attended the evening of Van Morrison songs performed by the tribute group Backstreet Jellyroll.
“That was quite an event,” said Slingerland, who watched from the top of the observatory. People danced in front of the stage, beach balls bounced from person to person, vendors provided food, and KiDiMu provided entertainment for small children.
“The benefit of these things is it really feels like a getaway for everybody who comes to this,” Slingerland said. “For two hours, you can kind of come and hang with your neighbors and let the cares go a little bit. Everybody’s under so much weight these days, and for a couple of hours people are smiling and laughing and you don’t have to think about anything, but just having a good time.”
After fans celebrated Morrison’s 77th birthday, Slingerland said the really fun thing he noticed is that many people stay and visit with neighbors even after the music stops. “That tells me that it’s a neat connection for people.”